Science at Hillmorton Primary School
Science teaching at Hillmorton Primary School aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them. They acquire specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future. At Hillmorton Primary School, scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the children study and these topics are revisited and developed throughout their time at school. Topics, such as Plants, are taught in Foundation Stage and studied again in further detail throughout Key Stage one and two. This model allows children to build upon their prior knowledge and increases their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding this procedural knowledge into the long-term memory. All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including observations, planning and investigations, as well as being encouraged to question the world around them and become independent learners in exploring possible answers for their scientific based questions. Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and built up, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged. Concepts taught should be reinforced by focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. Therefore, the intention of the Science Curriculum at Hillmorton Primary School is to ensure all pupils develop an understanding of the processes and methods of science through a range of scientific enquiries across the areas of physics, chemistry, and biology. A sense of awe and curiosity about physical and natural phenomena is encouraged; children’s knowledge and skills are built in order to develop an appreciation for the uses and implication of science in the world today and in the future.
Subject Knowledge Teachers and support staff are required to fully research and understand the area of study covered. Teachers plan a series of lessons being taught which should build upon prior learning and provide appropriate levels of challenge for all pupils. Where needed, the teaching team are provided with relevant training across the Science Curriculum.
Delivering Curriculum Content
Teachers provide a step-by-step approach to building procedural and conceptual knowledge within their lessons. They use a variety of strategies including first-hand experience investigation, demonstrations, video or audio clips, and reference books to develop pupils’ understanding. Many lessons involve the use of an interactive whiteboards. Subject specific and technical vocabulary must be a key feature of every lesson, with given opportunities to practice and apply learnt vocabulary wherever possible. At Hillmorton Primary School the appropriately resourced Phiz Lab is used to aid the teaching of the science curriculum in a way that promotes outcomes for all.
Assessment Children’s progress is continually monitored throughout their time at Hillmorton Primary School and is used to inform future teaching and learning. By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study as set out in the National Curriculum. These are set out as statutory requirements. We also draw on the non-statutory requirements to extend our children and provide an appropriate level of challenge. Children receive effective feedback through teacher assessment, both orally and through written feedback in line with the learning objective and marking policy. Assessment for learning is continuous throughout the planning, teaching and learning cycle. The programme of study is responsive to the children’s starting points, as well as their specific interests. It also ensures a focus on the key identified knowledge of each topic, which is mapped within and across year groups to ensure progression. At the end of each blocked science topic, this key knowledge is checked. Outcomes of work are also monitored and stored to ensure consistency across year groups.
Children have a secure understanding of all areas of the science curriculum. Due to an enriched curriculum, delivered by confident teachers through engaging and inspiring lessons, children will acquire the skills needed to think and act like a scientist. Children understand the importance of science, confidently develop their own scientific questions and, as a result, enthusiastically investigate science.
Children are able to confidently apply scientific vocabulary accurately through spoken and written outcomes to share and prove their scientific knowledge and enquiry skills with a developed sense of excitement and curiosity. Pupils embed scientific curricular knowledge and are make at least expected progress against their year groups objectives and lower attaining pupils are making accelerated progress to close the attainment gap.
The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
- are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.